Blessings in Tiny Packages

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Over 3 years ago my son and daughter in law Kristi shared the news that I was going to be a grandmother.  I wondered how that could possibly happen, I mean, I still had a 10 year old at home?  I declared right away to everyone that I would not be called “grandma”, but “nonnie”….because to me I picture a grandma as someone who is short, wears a house coat, has curly grey permed hair and drives a Buick.  I was asked if I wanted to be there when my first granddaughter, Alexis Lynn, was born and I felt honored.  This was such a special time between 2 people who loved each other, and I wondered if I would be an intrusion?  They assured me that I wouldn’t, and when February 10, 2010 arrived, that much awaited call came.  Luckily for me,  I was off work, and I made the over to Peoria, dodging patches of packed snow and the occasional nasty area of black ice.  I  arrived in plenty of time and began the wait with Rick, and Kristis mom Pam.  I can’t even explain the thoughts and questions that went through my  mind while I was waiting… will mother and baby come through this unscathed,  had Ricks dad been a good enough role model for my son be a good dad,  have I taught him what he needs to know about being a supportive husband if Kristi becomes tired and overwhelmed ( as all new moms are),  and even said a little prayer for God to let my parents look down and see this baby child arrive on this earth.  I also sat quietly and remembered the birth of my children and how scared I was when I realized that I was responsible for these precious lives that I had been blessed with.   When the time came for Kris to push, we assumed our positions and did whatever we had to do to support her.  Sometimes it involved giving words of support, sometimes it involved just standing there quietly, this was her moment and she would get  whatever she needed.  The time had come and after the final push….there she was…..totally perfect…totally beautiful, and totally loved.  The feelings were just overwhelming and I found myself crying like that little baby who is now being carefully checked over….

Less that 2 years later the scenario was repeated as Lillian  Grace came into this world.  I arrived right after she was born.  I had to work and couldn’t leave until my replacement arrived.  The feelings were the same as when Lexi was born, and I was once again in awe at this tiny life.  I personally think they are the most beautiful little girls in the world and can’t wait until Lexi, Lilly and Nonnie can have sleepovers and shopping trips and cooking lessons.  It is true that a child is Gods proof that life must go on.  My son and daughter in law had first met at the same base in Iraq…..she an MP in the Army, and he part of security forces in the Air Force.  They each finished their tours and returned to the states at separate times, thinking they would never see each other again.   As is turns out, they met again, at a party thrown by Ricks friend.  In walks Kristi, who happened to be a cousin of Ricks friends girlfriend.  It turns out they had grown up about 30 miles from each other.  The rest is history, so they say….and now here they were, about to begin one of the toughest, most fulfilling, joyous, sometimes frustrating job of their lives….parenthood.  If they thought dodging bullets and getting mortared on a daily basis was rough….just remember that those days may be a walk in the park once these two beautiful souls reach dating age.  ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

NONNIES SUGAR COOKIES

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup oil

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

 1 tsp vanilla

     1 tsp each  soda, salt and cream of tartar

4 cups flour

 Cream together the first 4 ingredients

 Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well

 Sift dry ingredients together and add to above.

                  Chill dough until firm.  Form into balls, dip in sugar, and press balls down with a glass dipped in sugar.

           Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned around edges.

     Do not overbake…they are tender and melt are  in your mouth goodness ♥

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Hofbrauhaus Hotties

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

In June of 1997 I had the extreme pleasure of being a chaperone on a guided tour led by Sue Coons, the foreign language teacher at the local high school.  My oldest daughter, Stephanie was taking French and therefore was invited to come along with the group.  My sister Kelly, who was getting married that September, went too, so this was going to be her last “fling” before the wedding.   I baked and sold about 4 million cookies up at the local Sweet Shop and video store,  (only in a small town) in order to fund both Steph and mine’s trip.  We toured 7 countries in 3 weeks.  Yesterday when I was cleaning, I found the journal that I painstakingly wrote in every night, and laughed out loud at some of the things that happened.  Most days we left before 7am and didn’t return to the hotel until after 9pm, so needless to say, sometimes I didn’t want to write in that silly book…

One of my favorite stories I documented was about our trip to the Hofbrauhaus in Munich Germany.  It was built in 1569, and is one of the largest beer halls in Germany.  We were told it was here that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who lived in the neighborhood, was reported to be a frequent visitor.  Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists held their first meeting in the Festival Room, on the third floor, in 1920.  We sat in this same cavernous room, along with many many other tourists and drank the famous beer.  In America, buildings and cities are so “young”, so it is really hard to wrap your head around how old everything is in Europe.  I remember reading about Hitler, and watching the movies about WW-II, but to sit in the same room where he had actually sat……wow…..So back to the beer…..I have never been a fan of beer, unless I was on a country road in high school with some PBR.  (oops, that’s another story)  It was very hot in Germany that June, so that ice-cold beer went down like water.  They brought you these huge beer glasses full of this delicious foamy refreshment, and I will admit I am not sure if I had 2 or 3 or 7 that night.  We finally had them spike the beer with lemonade (which is quite yummy), so that we could keep drinking.  The teenagers on our trip were allowed to try the beer and wine, so we chaperones had to be sure they followed the rules.  Somehow Kelly and I missed the memo on that subject the night at the beer garden.  They have these breathalyzer machines on each floor for people can see how drunk they are before heading home.  I decided to try one out.  Needless to say, no driving for me, so I  decided to stumble outside and get some much-needed air.  Kelly, my daughter and some of the other kids came out with me. We found a place to sit outside of the building and planted ourselves, waiting patiently for the others.  I sit quietly,  doing my favorite pastime, people watching, when this young gorgeous man comes toward our group.  I sit there and watch in amazement as he heads toward me, and proceeds to sit down almost on my lap.  He slaps an arm around me and begins speaking to me in pretty bad broken English about my being beautiful and all that other stuff.  Of course I am not so sure because in my condition, I see his mouth move, but don’t hear the words till about 15 seconds later.  I will admit that I did sober up a little when he planted a wet kiss on my cheek.  OH MY!  Stephanie is standing in horror and telling him “Get away, that’s my mother!” and Kelly is pouting, saying “What about me?” As if on cue a man comes around the corner and heads straight for Kelly.  Let me describe him….about 5’5″, balding, has a dad gut, a nondescript face, and has dress pants and a nice dress shirt on.  The only thing I noticed was the tail of his shirt was hanging about 6 inches out of his fly.  Yep!  He heads right over to Kelly and attempts to put the move on her….big mistake buddy…better luck with a rattlesnake. He was quickly sent packing, my guy disappeared, and eventually the others joined us to return to the hotel.  Wow, what a night!  Good times in Germany!  ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

WARM TACO DIP

In a crock pot combine:

2 pounds cooked hamburger

2 packages taco seasoning

2 cans of Hormel chili (I do one with beans and one without)

1 large loaf Velveeta Cheese (or 2 smaller ones, one in Mexican and one plain)

Warm on high until the cheese melts, then keep warm until enjoyed with nacho chips of your choice.

This is also delish as a hot dog topping and will taste even better after being washed down with beer ♥

My Son and Bob

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

During the summer of 1998, we took the kids, loaded them up in the Astro Van, and headed to  Disney World in Florida.  We didn’t take vacations yearly, so this was going to be a special one for sure.  We stayed off of the resort at our neighbors winter home nearby, and drove to the park daily for 3 days.  We arrived in Florida in the evening and after having a late supper, proceeded to get back on the interstate and go the wrong way.  Now, you would think that someone would have noticed that we were driving a long time when we knew our destination was 15 miles away?  It didn’t help that we had been on the road for 3 days, and that it was 2 in the morning I guess…  So, true to form, we all start arguing.  I am yelling at the driver, he is yelling at me, the kids are yelling with each other….except Katelyn, who was 10 at the time.  She was sitting quietly in the back of the van, taking it all in.  One thing you notice about my child number 3 is her super curly hair.  We are really not sure where it came from, because it was straight until she turned about 7.  When we all took a collective breath, she started her speech:  “We have worked hard all summer mowing yards, and saving up the money to come here.  This is supposed to be the best vacation we will ever have because Stephanie leaves for college next summer.  We need to remember we are a family and act like one.  Why can’t we all get along?”  There was stunned silence in the car…..no one knew what to say after that speech…until you hear the voice of my son saying…”Are you done yet?”….she replied “Yes”…and he said “Why thank you Martin Luther Curly”.  I knew Rick was familiar with the speech delivered my Martin Luther King Jr….but I didn’t remember his saying “Can’t we all get along.”  Needless to say, we all broke into laughter and we turned around and headed into Orlando.

The second day we went to Epcot to enjoy seeing the various “countries” featured there.  While we were there, my son spent some of his hard-earned money on a puppet that he named “Bob”.  Bob was an orangutan (I think) with fuzzy light brown hair, extra long loose arms and legs and wore a tuxedo shirt and jacket.  You put one hand in the back of his head in order to open is mouth, and you could attach a metal rod to either arm so you could move the arm as if he were waving without getting your own arm in the way.  So we decide to take a break and sit outside “Paris” and Ricky takes “Bob” out and introduced him to us.   My son is such a character that pretty soon he is sitting alone on the bench, with Bob, and is making Bob ogle the cute girls passing by.  If a “hot” girl stopped to look at Bob, Rick would open Bobs mouth, take Bobs hand, pretend to lick it and smooth Bobs hair down.  So we stood nearby and watched Rick interact, through Bob, with almost every teenager girl that walked by.  When a “hottie” would walk towards them, he would aim  Bobs head in their direction in order to follow as the girl approached, Bob would then stare as they walked past, and continued to stare, open-mouthed,  as they walked by.  Bob was a hit!  If you watched long enough, you really believed that silly ape was alive.  I had a feeling that people thought Rick was as hired performer with the park.  It’s too bad I didn’t think to put out a hat that they could throw coins into….we could have had enough extra money to eat a meal in the park, instead of eating the  frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I had packed for our lunches and were waiting for us in a locker at the front gate ♥

 

 FOOD FOR THE BODY

When my son was in high school, he seldom ate meat…but would eat Tater Tot Casserole…this is my version…

2 pounds of hamburger, browned and drained

2 cans of cream of chicken soup

(you can use cream of mushroom soup,  I just don’t like mushrooms)

2 cans of peas, drained

1 small can of Durkees Fried Onions

1-2 cups of finely shredded cheddar cheese

1 bag Tater Tots ( I used to use 1 and 1/2 bags because everyone wanted more tots)

Heat oven to 350 degrees

In a 13x 9 pan, begin layering, starting with the cooked hamburger.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic power and onion powder over the hamburger.

Spread the soups over the hamburger.

Slightly crush the fried onions in you hand and sprinkle over the soup

Sprinkle the cheese over the soup

Top off with the peas and end with the tater tots.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the tots are golden brown.

This is also a forgiving casserole…you can change veggies, use more or less cheese, use different soups…etc.

You can also halve the recipe and bake in an 8×8 pan…easy peesey….

Make it your own and enjoy!

Menopause..The New Frontier

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

I HATE EVE….I HATE THAT EVE ATE THAT APPLE…..because she couldn’t behave, we women have been “cursed” from about age 12 on through ????? who knows what age.  I am going to embarrass myself in this blog, but I will only speak the truth.  There will be many many women who will read this, and nod their heads, and share in my trials of this affliction that is referred to as menopause.  The other day I was skillfully applying my moisturizer, and then my under eye serum, and then my foundation…etc…and I noticed a stray hair growing out of my right nostril.  Where in the world did that come from and how long has it been there?  Did anyone notice it and they were being polite enough to not point it out?  I knew now that since I was aware of it, that it had to go.  It is 5 am and I am searching for scissors in my bathroom…of course, none there….I am sure they are in the den with a new art project that Madison is working on.  In desperation I reach for the nearest “weapon”….a tweezers.  I have to work at this without my glasses, because my eyes have changed and I can’t see close up with them, so after much work, and many misses….I finally get the bugger.  HOLY TEAR JERKER…..that thing was wrapped around my right eye-ball, I swear.  So I stop crying, compose myself, and continue onto work.  Several days later, I am again checking my nose, up close and personal, and I turn my head ever so slightly so the light hits the side of my face and there was a mass of peach fuzz….with a matching mass of fuzz on the other cheek, like when my son had when he was hitting puberty. When in this world did this happen? and what in the world does a woman do about it?

I remember laughing at a fellow nurse when she would have hot flashes and her glasses would fog up…shame on me…karma can be cruel….It seems that I can be cruising through the day and all of a sudden I go from 98.7 degrees to 4,999 degrees in one minute.  Its like someone lit a bonfire in my belly and whoosh….up through my body and on out my ears.  Still not sure if I have hot flashes at night, cause my sleep is so interrupted from having to flip from side to side, because my hips and shoulders hurt if I remain in one position too long.  I went to apply eye shadow before our last girls night out, taking my time to get it ever so pretty….only to look at my reflection and realize the extra skin on my upper lids had literally hidden the eye shadow….what a cruel cruel joke!  I try to carry on a conversation with someone and I lose track of my thoughts, along with the elusive common words that just go out of your head mid-sentence.  All of the sudden you can’t remember someones name, even someone close to you like your children….but never fear, 10 hours later, that common word will pop up into your head in the middle of the night (when you are flipping for the 4th time).  There are many stray hairs in the bathroom after the blow dry, and the “fine textured” hair,  has now become “super fine textured” hair….forget the dirty word…”thinning”.   So now you are losing hair where it should be, and gaining hair where it shouldn’t…hmmmmmm…….again, karma.  The last time Cindy, my beautician waxed my eyebrows, she wiggled the strip with the extra hairs on it and it resembled a catepillar….my goodness!

My mom, who was a beautiful woman, reached the age where the skin between your chin and your mid-neck, began to sag.   She took great care in her beauty routine and was always presentable, no matter what time of the day it was.  Kelly, who didn’t know a beauty routine from a dance routine, reached out and gave that wobbly area on moms neck a little tickle and said “Gobble gobble”….Not a wise thing to do….because menopause was not kind to mom either.  Lets just say, Kelly learned right then to never do that to mom again.  Now that I am that age, with the same messed up hormones, I am surprised that mom didn’t put her up for adoption (since murder was illegal)

So we won’t even mention the dry alligator skin, having to take off your glasses to use the computer, getting up from a chair and doing the hunched over, small step, walk for about 10 feet, the puffy feet at the end of the day, the tears one moment and then raging anger the next, followed by loving kindness, the body parts heading south, and the sheets flapping on and off during the night, as if they were on a clothes line on a breezy summer day.  But, on the plus side…I find I am the most comfortable in my body than I have ever been.  This is me, hot flashes, severe mood swings, excess hair, droopy eye lids, saggy lady parts  and everything else that comes along with being over 50.  But I don’t care…I was blessed this morning that God allowed me to wake up to see another sunrise and sunset, and I will just look at this as another adventure in life…so…Thank You Eve!

FOOD FOR THE BODY

I was trying to figure out which recipe would go with menopause and all I could think of were “comfort foods”

I will call this: Menopausal Heaven

2 rolls of canned biscuits

Sugar and Cinnamon mix

1 stick of Margarine

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Maple syrup

Lightly spray a bundt pan with Pam

Melt margarine in a bowl in the microwave *cover the bowl to prevent messing up the microwave

Place the sugar and cinnamon mixture in another bowl

Cut each biscuit into fourths

Set up an assembly line biscuits, melted oleo, sugar mixture and bundt pan.

Dip biscuits into margarine, then roll them in sugar mixture and begin loosely placing in bundt pan.

One in a while, sprinkle in some nuts.

Keep layering until the biscuits are all in the pan

Take the maple syrup and drizzle about 1/2 to 1 cup on top the biscuits.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until the top biscuits are golden brown.

Gently pull away some biscuits to be sure the others are baked and not raw.

Invert the bundt pan onto the cookie sheet, and carefully pull the bundt pan off, leaving a beautiful, comforting pile of goodness..

If it is a really bad month…add an extra can of  sugared biscuits to the bundt pan….♥

Who Hogged the Last Piece of Pie?

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Growing up we celebrated holidays with the same extended families that we vacationed with every summer.  On July 4th  we would have a chicken/fish fry at my Aunt Doris and Uncle Shelly’s house, Easter was at my Aunt Lois and Uncle Toms house and Christmas was at ours.  There would be at least 40 people crammed into each house as we prepared to eat a feast.  My goodness, those women could cook.   The food was served buffet style and took up every available space in the kitchens.  On Easter and Christmas there was always  ham and turkey with all of the trimmings.  The men were always served first, the children second and then the ladies.  Looking back now, I am not sure how I feel about the ladies, who spent hours preparing the feast, eating last.  Then I remember that when I have company for supper, I automatically fade into the background and let my guests serve themselves first.   My grandparents always brought “fried noodles” and my Aunt Lois was known for her divinity and fudge, and my Aunt Doris made the best chocolate and white cream pies.   No matter how much food you had, there was always that one food that you knew you had to get to early, or it was gone.  The white cream pie almost caused a fist fight in my moms kitchen one year.  Most people have never heard of white cream pie, and basically you make the pie filling from scratch, but add butter and vanilla at the point when you would have added chocolate, coconut or bananas.   Her crust was flaky and tender, and the pies were to die for.  Complete with a little whipped topping on top of the pie, and a person is close to heaven.  The bad news is that you can’t get 40 pieces from one pie, and that’s where the problem arose that Christmas dinner.

My cousins, Deb (or “stinky” as my dad called her) and Russ, who were young adults, each spied the white cream pie as they were going through the line filling their plates.  The problem is that Russ, being a male, went through the line first.  Deb followed, after all of the kids received their food,  and noticed that there was only one piece of pie left.  That piece would never be there when she went back for dessert, so she quietly dished up the pie, and hid it in on the top shelf in moms cupboard, and went into the front living room to eat.   Everyone enjoyed their meal and then they proceed to head back to the kitchen for the much coveted dessert.  There were pies, cookies, cakes, frosted cut out Christmas cookies, and gooey pecan rolls to be enjoyed.   It seemed that  Russ wanted that last piece of white cream pie….and it was gone…..plus to make matters worse, his mom was the one who made the pies.   I think he felt that gave him squatters rights to the last piece, so to speak.   He griped and grumbled and settled on a different dessert before retreating to the dining room in a huff.  Since I was younger, I am not really sure what happened next, but I remember a lot of yelling and arguing when Deb pulled that wonderful piece of pie out of the cupboard just as Russ was coming into the kitchen……….but in the end, Deb enjoyed her pie, and for years after that Dori always made more than one white cream pie.  Funny what an adult remembers as a kid….the very best times ever, fights and all!    Mmmmmmm…..maybe I will just zip into the kitchen and make a white cream pie…..  ♥

FOOD FOR THE BO

WHITE CREAM PIE

One deep dish pie shell, baked and cooled.

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups 2% milk

3 egg YOLKS, beaten

2 Tablespoons butter

 2 teaspoons vanilla

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, salt and milk.

Using a whisk, mix well and stir constantly on medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

Continue whisking, while boiling for 1 minute longer, then remove from heat.

Stir about 1/4 cup of the hot filling into the beaten eggs, tempering them.

Slowly whisk the warmed egg mixture back into the filling in the saucepan and return to heat.

Cook for 1 minute longer

Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla, mixing well.

Pour into the cooled crust, cover top of filling with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the filling.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours, top with whipped topping and enjoy!

Besties

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

If you feel you are as blessed as me, you have friends in your life who, no matter what, will stand behind you and will always be there for you.  Throughout my life, I have had friends that I could truly call “Besties.”  I had many good friends in high school, but probably one best friend.  After high school we both went our separate ways to different colleges.  Then, as frequently happen, life gets in the way, and pretty soon you are living hours apart and busy raising families.  Laurel was my childhood “Bestie” and to this day when I leave a comment on her Facebook page, I will lovingly refer to her as my “bff”……Flash forward to 2003….my mom had passed away 2 years earlier and my dad had retired and was simply “lost.”  An opportunity came up to buy the local Sweet Shop in town.  I was a nurse and my dad worked as a machinist in a factory for 40 plus years, so it made logical sense to buy a business (I am of course saying this while rolling my eyes into my head)  I quit my nursing position to run the store, but Pops was the General Manager….and I mean General….Of course that was when we first began the adventure…..

My dad was a big man, over 6’2 inches with a booming voice.  As kids, my cousins were always afraid of him, but not those little kids that came into the store for their coke and piece of candy.  I can’t tell you how many kids followed him up to the front of the store for a free sucker …..”The General” had become a much loved teddy bear.  Over the years we hired many teenagers and adult women to work for us.  It was a nice place to work and we were all family.  When I cooked supper at home form my family, I took a plate uptown to feed whatever high schooler was working that night.  Cindy and Kathy were 2 of my closest friends at the store, and probably had been there the longest.  We were often like the 3 Muskateers…one for all, and all for one.  Trust me, after a long summer of kids, kids and more kids….we needed to support each other.

In 2007, Pop passed away suddenly and our whole “Pops family” grieved together.  I didn’t have the emotional strength to open the store the day after dad died, but I knew we needed the income, and in stepped my other 2 musketeers.  They opened and ran the store while we made the arrangements for his burial.  I don’t know of many employees who would do this….and for this I will be eternally grateful to them.  The night of the visitation, they were all there, all of our high school, summer college help, and adult employees.  They remained there for over 3 hours, quietly sitting and reminiscing in the back room….they loved him too….About a year after his death, the sisters and I decided to sell the business…it just wasn’t the same without Pops. The last day of ownership with these 2 beautiful friends was bittersweet….I needed to go, but didn’t want to go…would we still keep in touch?  Would our friendship just fizzle out?   Well, glad to report that we will be friends for life….can’t help it….I just love em.  I hope that everyone has friends that would take a bullet for you , and you would take one for them.  We still have girls night out, still laugh until we ALMOST wet our pants, and still  share each others joys and grief, and just love. Below is a picture of us girls out last month…priceless….  ♥

Front: Cindy, Kathy and Amy

Back: My sister Kelly and I

 

FOOD FOR THE BODY

Three Muskateer Candy Wraps

1 can Crescent rolls (please splurge and get the name brand ones)

Three Muskateer Bar (or candy bar of your choice)

Powder Sugar

Milk

Chop up the candy bar into small bite sized pieces

Unroll the crescent rolls, separate into triangles

Place several pieces of candy bar on each triangle

Roll up the crescent roll as directed

Place on baking sheet sprayed with Pam

Bake about 10-12 minutes (keep an eye on them)

Put about 1 cup of powdered sugar into a cup, and add just enough milk to make a glaze.

Drizzle glaze on candy bar rolls and enjoy with a big glass of milk.

Caution: melted candy bars are HOT!  Found that out the hard way ♥

Always Look At Your Feet

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

When I first got married and moved to town, I found it was hard to figure out a way to fit in.  This was a new town, with people I didn’t know, and I had few friends here.  I started nurses training shortly after I got married, so that kept me busy for the most part, but I didn’t know where to meet people.  Eventually someone invited me to try out for the local community singing group.  As I mentioned before, I was a proud band and chorus geek, so this really sounded sweet to me.  I auditioned, and was accepted to join the group, The Village Aires.  I soon had  many new friends and was felt right at home.  The group performs 2 shows a year, one in the spring and one at Christmas.  Now, we are not Broadway performers by any means, but can hold our own, so to speak.  One thing that is drilled lovingly into your head is that no matter what happens on stage, you must stay in character.  You can not by any means grimice if you sing the wrong word in a solo, laugh is someone makes a mistake and above all, don’t break into the giggles.  You know how it is when you are in church and maybe someone near you falls asleep or passes gas, and sometimes you just can’t help it, you have to giggle.  That giggle then spreads to those around you, until they too are giggling, and then whole pew is rockin.  Trust me when I tell you that there are times on stage when it takes everything in your power to remain professional.

During one show we had so many costume changes that the ladies had to set up a dressing area behind the stage.  There was no time between songs to run to the band room to make the necessary changes, to it was decided men to change on one side, and ladies on the other side.  They brought in a large round clothes rack for us, and we all picked a section of the rack to put all of your costume changes and shoes.  We are now at the point in the show when the men are on stage and we need to quickly change dresses, shoes and what ever else was scheduled for that section of the show.  For this show we needed brown and bone colored dress shoes to complete our attire.  Now, I am a nurse, and therefore live in scrubs most of my life, except on Sundays when I had a few nice outfits.  I think I had 3 kids at that time, so there wasn’t  a lot of extra money, so I went to K-mart and bought 2 pairs of identical dress shoes, one in brown and one in bone.  (Do they even make “bone” colored shoes anymore?  Do they even have the color “bone” anymore?)  So in the dark recesses of the area behind the stage  we quickly change into our outfits, change shoes, and head back onto stage for our number.  We lovely ladies are sitting in a row, watching intently on the soloist and I happen to look down at my feet.  For the love of Mike….I have a bone and a brown shoe on…and I just stare at my feet as if they have betrayed me.  Of course I can’t just sit there professionally and wait until the song is over to sneak off stage and get the right shoe…Nope not me…I begin quietly giggling….I can’t help it…..it is something that only I could do.  So I then do the next adult thing I can think of…I nudge Tracy, who is sitting quietly next to me and aim my eyes downward towards my feet, moving them out in front of me ever so slightly so she can see my new pair of shoes too.  That’s all it took, it was like a domino effect, and soon about 8 of us were trying to stifle giggles.  The bad thing was, they were filming the show, and the camera focused at me and then went down the line giving the director proof that we had lost it.   What I didn’t realize at the time is that I had a pair of shoes just like it behind stage…hehehehehe  ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

ANTIPASTO SALAD

This is one of my favorite dishes to pass at our “after the final show”  party.  This is a double recipe.

Add the following to a large serving bowl:

2 bags Monas Tortellini (one cheese and one meat) cooked and drained (really any brand will do, I just like Monas)

Large bottle Italian Dressing

 1 pkg Pepperoni (I cut each one in half)

1 small bottle green olives (sliced in half)

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

You can add chopped green, red or orange peppers, and onion if you like the flavor  (I am not a fan)

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and chill for a few hours.  It is really good if you refrigerate overnight, stirring a few times.

You really can’t have too little or too much of each item…thats why I love this recipe…go by your taste.